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Resources about Early Christianity

It is relatively easy to find things in the Bible and about the Bible. But as readers of this website know, the Bible itself only constitutes a very small portion of the information available surrounding the evolution of Christianity. There are many more texts from that time we can read — texts created by the same loose collections of early Jesus followers who created the books of the Bible. There were events happening in the areas where Christ people lived — events which greatly influenced the stories about Jesus you know, and other stories you may not be familiar with.

In order to learn about how Christianity developed, it’s imperative to be able to see the whole picture!

It is with some irony that the Bible and Beyond offers the resources about Christianity for the period before the religion known as Christianity was even born! For lack of a better word, we are using anachronistic terminology to talk about the crucial time between Jesus and the establishment of the orthodox Christian church in the fourth century.

This was an innovative era when the followers of Jesus were searching for meaning in his teachings, his life, and his death. They desperately needed information that could help them deal with the treacherous reality of having to live under Roman occupation. Without the restrictions of canon and doctrine that emerged in a later period, writers of ancient texts wrote about finding hope from a wide variety of perspectives.

The Bible and Beyond resources about early Christianity highlight contemporary scholarship on topics from gender to healing, people from Mary Magdalene to Judas Iscariot, and controversies from the meaning of resurrection to the identity of Jesus himself.

At the Bible and Beyond, our goal is to help you discover some answers to your own questions, both historical and contemporary, through learning about key ideas associated with Nag Hammadi texts and other apocryphal writings.

Here are links to even more important resources about early Christianity for our deeper diggers:

Websites | Journals | Videos | Books | Articles

Have an idea?  Use the form at the bottom of the page to share your suggestions. Don’t miss the frequently asked questions page, where you’ll find answers to some common questions. 

Fragment of the Gospel of Judas

Fragment of the Gospel of Judas, public domain image (Wolfgang Rieger) from Wikimedia Commons.

Illuminating the Secret Revelation of John: Catching the Light

The Book by Shirley Paulson

The Secret Revelation of John was probably written around the same time some of the later books of the Bible took shape, but it was lost and buried around the 4th century. Although it was hidden throughout most of Christian history, its message seems especially relevant today because it appeared at a time somewhat like our own. Shirley Paulson introduces readers to the ancient text in her new book, Illuminating the Secret Revelation of John: Catching the Light.

Learn more here!

Resource Suggestions?

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